Local photographers set to replicate century-old photo in York City

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
In 1919, York City residents gathered for the annual convention and parade of the York County Firemen's Association.

York-based photographers will replicate a 100-year-old photo next month to commemorate the county's 1919 Firemen's Association convention and parade in Continental Square.

The photographers hope hundreds of city residents, volunteers and first responders will partake in the event at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at the first block of East Market Street in York City to show the progress the city has made and give next century's residents a feel of what it was like in 2019.

"This is not just some random picture," said Phil Doucette, a local business consultant who first saw a copy of the photo at a friend's house 15 years ago. "This was the entire city of York stopping and posing for a self portrait. It's a point of pride and unity that the city would stop and have a self portrait of everyone together."

Charles William Simon, founder of Simon Photo, took the photograph that can be found at the York County History Center. It was published by the York Gazette and Daily and portrays a large crowd of residents during the annual York County Firemen's Association convention and parade.

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"(This) is the whole reason for photography," said Correll French, a local aerial photographer. "It's capturing moments in time for future generations. This is an opportunity to capture a century's worth of growth."

The partners involved — Doucette, French and Chris Arendt, owner of Camera Center of York — plan to put the photograph in a time capsule as a nod to today's technology and make a tradition out of documenting the city every century.

"If you look at the history of most cities, York is one of the best-documented cities anywhere," Arendt said. "Historically, if you look back, York was the first capital of the United States. I think it just carries on the fact that York is as well-documented as it is."

Arendt, who collects cameras, plans to shoot pictures on a camera from the 1980s. Photos will also be taken on modern cameras and using a drone.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.